Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Thankfulness; the theme

The other day I said that I really wanted to chat about a LOT of things over the coming months, so grab a cup of coffee and let's begin gabbing like we're old friends chewing on life.

I was born a natural pessimist and I have to work intentionally hard to fight that. Hence, the whole "making lemonade" thing...  If I can force myself to see the good and recognize it, I'm halfway there.  I live with two amazing optimists.  They see the positive side of everything and it inspires me.  They seldom worry, convinced that it's all "going to be okay."  I would give my right arm to be more like that.

But the truth is, I'm supposed to be more like that.  As in, walking by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).  I'm supposed to lay my future into the palms of God's hands, where He has engraved my name, and let Him do whatever is best for my story.  (That part always makes the pessimist in me cringe because I secretly worry that He might allow bad things to bring about my best.)
 In the summer, we were making some major life decisions once again in the midst of Adrain getting transferred back to our town, with his company. (More on that another day)  I was so wrapped up in fear over the looming life decisions that it was paralyzing me.  I actually can't remember a time in my life where I was so terrified of what could happen.  Adrain was cautious but persistent in his belief that we were making decisions that would be best in the long term and I was stuck in the "right now" of it all.  We fought a lot to the point that I couldn't even discuss the subject with him.  That's not good ladies.  We need to be able to discuss things with our men, even if we don't like the story line.  There are too many marriages out there where communication is lost and slowly, so are the marriages.  I course corrected, talked a LOT to God about it all and ultimately recognized that He wouldn't allow any life actions that wouldn't ultimately bring about His own glory, hence bringing about whatever changes and situations in ME that would be for the ultimate best as well.  It was a process.  I cried daily.  I avoided friends because I felt like a train wreck.

And then I realized how pessimistic my view of it all was.  Every possibility in my mind was the worst case scenario in which God could only see fit to bring about the ruination of this family, this home, my marriage, and our finances.  Um.  Why do I do that?  Can it go that way?  Sure.  But do I have a personal track record with God where He intentionally smashes every aspect of my life and personality into dust to put me on whatever path He has for me?  Absolutely NOT.  He has often done things I didn't understand and often I have felt heartbroken pain for those things, but so far, always in hindsight, they made some kind of sense to me and the object I was left holding in it's place was far better than I could have imagined had I only known.  

So with this thought in mind, I realized I needed some offensive action or the enemy was going to get the better of me.  I began a simple thankfuls journal on my personal instagram.  It's almost daily, and it's becoming habit to stop, think about what is GOOD at the close or start of each day. What was a gift today?  What was a delight?  What was simple and often unappreciated?  What has been given to me today to appreciate? The way my husband takes my hand as we walk, the smell of fabric softener on clean sheets, morning coffee, dinner in the crock pot on a hectic day, the ladies I work and laugh with, a new project, the smile of my children in sports as they spot me in the crowd.... these things.  They are jewels that can't be bought and I'm keeping track because it reminds me that He gives me so much.  This alone has been changing my mindset.  It's not just a November thing.  It's a lifestyle thing.  

This morning I read in my kid's Jesus Calling for Kids, "You want to see, you want to know what's coming so that you can be ready.  But that is depending on yourself.  Put your faith in Me instead, and I'll make sure you're ready.  You don't know what lies ahead, but I know- and that is enough!  Some of my best surprises are just around the corner- out of sight but very real.  To receive these blessings, you must walk by faith, not by sight." 

SO here I go girls.  Thankfully putting my daily moments into His capable hands.  He's got mine and He's got yours.  Let's believe this together.

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P.S. My shop is still open... but it closes down again this Thursday Night at 8:00pm. Click here to shop. 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Popping up....

Gulp. Doing that thing that makes my palms sweat and my heart race. I decided to open a ONE week pop-up etsy shop.  I've had a lot of people ask about some of my holiday and fall prints and I loved selling those! I suddenly realized that I could actually just do a one week gig and we'd all enjoy that! 
{This print available for purchase, October 1-8 @ etsy.com/shop/lemonademakinmama }

However, it makes me want to curl up and hide just a little, because it's that being brave, put yourself out there, what if nobody wants or likes your art thing.  I bet you know how that is.  Maybe it's not art for you. Maybe it's your heart in a relationship that you need to be brave to put on the line.  Or your faith in accepting a new job.  Or facing a big crowd at a party or upcoming holiday gatherings... I could go on and on, because I know that on some level, you know.  It's so hard to put ourselves out there and be BRAVE!  I wish it wasn't but... I do know this.  Nothing GREAT ever came from comfort zones.  I read that quote someplace and I liked it so much that I made it into a print for myself.
{This print available for purchase, October 1-8 @ etsy.com/shop/lemonademakinmama }

You see, I'm just a big chicken in life.  Over the next year, I am going to be facing down possibly one of my biggest challenges and long-time fears.  I am a ways away from sharing details but it's going to test my faith for sure.  I am putting my girlfriends ears through a tremendous workout as I chew and process all the fears that are swirling.  Because I happen to LIKE my fences.  I put them up, I tell myself this is how far I will go and no further, and then of course faith waltzes in without care and beckons me to step over that fence and trust.  I'm so bad at that.  Fences don't really keep me safe, I know that.  But they do keep me from moving forward and I'm working hard to kick that.  I hope that if you're dealing with something that pushes you from the "safe" fences of your comfort zone, the  print I made for my self, can also be a big blessing to you.  Or someone you know that struggles with this.

{This print available for purchase, October 1-8 @ etsy.com/shop/lemonademakinmama }
Along with that, I'll be adding best sellers, holiday prints, fall prints and these four new prints that all have personal meanings to me.  They were all created because of a moment I was having.  The dahlia was a photograph that I took and reproduced as a print for my birthday friends.  The Shine your light print was to encourage my kids and hangs in their bathroom.  And the small homes print was because it rings true for me.  Perhaps it's not always the case and large homes have their place of course... but it was my heart and I made it for my home.
{This print available for purchase, October 1-8 @ etsy.com/shop/lemonademakinmama }
 So my friends & dear customers from over the years past, please enjoy my little shop once more for this one week ONLY.  I won't keep it open after this and I probably won't do this again but for right now, and this year, I decided to put it all back out there to share.  It's scary and yet delightful all in one.   

Below is a small smattering of what I'll be bringing back, and there is MUCH more for sale in my shop as of Thursday October 1.  These are just my favorites....

This time my paper is luxuriously thick at a nice heavy 100# card stock. Its silky like butter.  I put all of your goodies into a clear, protective sleeve and add a sturdy piece of chipboard for protective backing.  I will be mailing all items out at once, on Friday October 9th, and my prayer as always, is that you are blessed deeply by my shop whether you are hanging these in your own homes, or giving them to loved ones for their homes. 

I open October 1 & close the night of October 8. On Thursday morning, you can click here to shop!

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Calming the {visual} chaos... just a little

I had this wild hair brained idea yesterday.

And in my defense, it's not the first one I've ever had.

This one was a GOOD one.

I love my bookshelves.  I mean LOVE them.  We are big book lovers over here and if you actually knew how many books we had donated over the years to bless others... well... we'd have wall to wall to wall to wall shelves overflowing!  That said, when we purchased the Hemnes system from Ikea we were thrilled to lovingly place all our favorites on the shelves.  And I may or may not have gone a little buck wild with shelf styling.
 All fine and good, but after a few months, I was starting to feel like it was the one spot of visual clutter in our house.  A couple months ago, I restyled them and pared down the accessory choices and tried to go for more cohesive colors with those.  That helped a bit but there was still a rainbow effect in the books themselves that didn't feel complimentary to our home and perhaps it was simply because I would sit and stare at it each day at some point and think, "Man, that's a lot of color hitting me in the face." (First world problems y'all.)  Though I'm a color girl, I'm more of a neutral color girl. Our home is mostly bedecked in grays, blues, wood tones, creams and a few greens. 

Yesterday, there was football on most of the day and I suddenly wondered what it would look like if I covered each book in kraft paper and then stamped the titles on the spines.  (Pretty sure my man thought I was nutso.) We had a HUGE roll of the kraft paper (From Sherwin Williams) and I already had the little stamps and ink so the cost was only going to be elbow grease. 

Uh.  About that.  Just know that if you are going to do this, yes it's a lot of work.  It took me a few hours to do all of mine.  But, there are a few tips that can make it bearable so that you don't want to dig your eyeballs out with a spoon halfway through.

(Okay that might have been a tad dramatic... which is weird since I'm never dramatic.  Like, ever.)  I am all about efficiency and systems. 

Here's what I found worked and saved time.

First, pile all your books onto a surface so you can see what you're working with.

Second, group all books into piles of like-lengths.  Trust me, do not skip this step! 

Third, roll out your paper and use the first book in the first pile as your sizing guide- (see top and bottom photos) Draw a guide line both top and bottom of your paper and then use a yardstick to connect the two lines.  Cut that strip of book cover paper.  (I found that one strip usually covered two books.  I folded the edges under the covers and called it good.) This is why it was important to place all books into like-length piles.  It goes so much faster when you know that cutting a strip of cover paper will cover two same-length books.

 I covered one stack of each size at a time and then took a break and stamped those spines.  (I removed each cover in order to stamp it and then slipped it back on. That worked best for me.) (Also, I have no idea where I got the stamp set.  A craft source online at some point I think, but I have had them for years.)

Once all your books have been covered and stamped, arrange any way you want.  I did subject groupings for the most part.  Finally, accessorize your shelves and enjoy the subtle hum of books rather than the blaring noise of the many colors!
 Just for fun... here is the before...
And the after... 

The before was nice and don't get me wrong, I liked it, but apparently I needed some calmer visuals.  I didn't have to change it but why do women get haircuts?  Because they want to.  The end. Ha!

In closing, don't forget the Ever Thine Home coupon code that I shared in my last post.  You still have until Friday to get 15% off any of their home decor and holiday home items!! (Code FALL15) Eeep!  Lots of cuteness over there so click here to shop!

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Friday, September 18, 2015

This house you've seen many times... only with pumpkins.

HI you guys!!  I have about a bazillion topics I am planning to chat with y'all about over the coming months.  Some are deep, some are light, and through them all I've been focusing on having a thankful heart so you can count on us talking a LOT about that in months to come.

I have been so enjoying this season of life lately with kids both in middle school, though it's kept me busy enough that regular check-ins here have been rare!  But what fun, (if somewhat emotionally driven) ages.  So intense, yet so deeply good.  I loved what a friend of mine said the other day, that if you go sit in their rooms, pretty soon it ALL comes pouring out of them... How true, and I love those conversations!  They are both in sports, which my man and I are so convinced will aid them later on in life. Adrain is a huge sports fan and played every sport all through his high school career.  (He was that adorable jock that captained his football and track teams, threw shot put at State and ran past my house with his shirt off on the weekends, driving my poor father to distraction, but that's a topic for another day!)

It feels like we're settling into a nice groove again with our schedules.  It's crazy, especially in the evenings, but it's good!  The weather around here has cooled significantly, so I have put my fall items out already. I don't change much for fall apparently, with the exception of a few framed photographs, a couple sprigs of leaves (sadly fake, but the locals frown on pruning public property branches) (ha!) and some real pumpkins here and there...I kind of feel like I should preface each photo with something like, "Here is my table...the same table you have seen a million times... only with a pumpkin on it! Ta-da!  I worked all day on that."

I received a gift card to a local nursery for my birthday, and I spent just a tiny portion of it on pumpkins!  They had gray pumpkins... my very favorite... and after my heart stoppped racing I spent an hour choosing four of them!  (I'm pretty sure the nursery people were like, "JUST CHOOSE ALREADY LADY!")  (But you see, I didn't want to waste buying too many... or not enough!  They go so quickly but I had to think through where I wanted them before buying any.)

Now I'll stop the majority of the chitty-chatty and get to the photos of my house which you've seen many times... only this time it has pumpkins!! (grin) And for the benefit of any newcomers, I am including a good portion of our full house tour (even those places untouched by the addition of a pumpkin, so thank you for the patience of those of you who have seen it all dozens of times before.) Our full house tour with many sources and paint colors can be viewed here-though I have changed and simplified quite a few places since those photos were taken.

 {Kitchen/dining/family office space}

 {I painted this on my birthday with my friend Becca.  It's my fave!}
Adrain made me the pallet wood frame for this praying man print that I found on Amazon last year.  I modpodged it to a canvas. I broke the clock and tiny votive holder when I hung it on the wall and felt so thankful for a little super glue to put it all back together again. 
 {Sign is from my precious friend Tara, at Between You and Me Signs. }
{This is the view that greets us as we enter from the garage/laundry room and into the house.}  I moved this tiny desk here for our catchalls and media storage, and we love it! Why didn't I try it here before??  The other day I was moving and shifting things and I wanted something with encouragement on it so that our eyes would land immediately upon a little sweetness as we enter the house.  I am such a firm believer in filling your home with encouraging words especially where you enter and exit!  I grabbed one of my favorite little canvas signs from Ever Thine Home and it fit perfectly right on top of this desk!

I don't know how often you shop for home and holiday decor over at Ever Thine Home, but I will say that you MUST go- (no, RUN) to check out their fall items- especially this wreath above, which is made from hymns and encouragement!!  It's so gorgeous (Photo credit- ETH).  Now get this- Ever Thine Home is  actually offering all of you a little discount right now! (I KNOW, RIGHT?!)  Use coupon code FALL15 for 15% off when you place orders here, until next Friday!  They have so many darling household items and holiday decor items, and this is the perfect time to stock up before the holiday season hits- plus upcoming gift giving and hosting and all that jazz is looming.  They have darling things and are one of my very favorites so happy shopping and enjoy that coupon!

 {The hallway view, when you're standing in the guest room}

{The living room} The fabulous thankful pillow was made by Tara at By Design co. 

 {The guest room}

 {The master bedroom with a few cozy touches like furry pillows and cuddly blankets}

Those little oil paintings above our bedside tables were done by me when our kids were very small- two and four.  I can not even begin to tell you how much I adore them.  I would probably grab those if there was ever a fire! I recently hung them above each of our bedside lamps and they make me smile every morning.  I love it when decor happens like that.  Just one day I thought, "You know... those would be perfect right there..." and they were!!

So friends, that's it for the little bits of fall over here.  I have a few more fun fall things to share in the coming weeks but don't forget to use your Ever Thine Home coupon code ( for 15% off) if you make any cute purchases for your fall & holiday home!! {Use FALL15 for the coupon code until next Friday, and click here to shop}

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